A renewed policy focus on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) can be observed, both at the global level and in Europe. With an aim to provide input for European policy-making, a new report of the European Environment Agency (EEA) analyses the environmental effects of household consumption in Europe.

The report has identified four consumption categories that form a major part of total consumption expenditure and for which the environmental effects are either large or increasing rapidly. These are consumption of food and drink; housing; personal travel and mobility; and tourism.

The negative environmental effects of consumption do not only occur in Europe, but also in other regions of the world, mainly as a result of resource extraction, production, processing and transportation of the goods consumed in Europe, and as a result of personal travel and tourist activities.

Attaining more sustainable consumption and production patterns is a common challenge that involves all actors, including public authorities at all levels, business and consumers.